Grand Designs is not a show about architecture


As a man you need to get two crucial elements of your life into line: women and money, and in that order. If you get your money into line but not how you interact with women then the women will take all of your money. One of the best modern examples of marital voyeurism of this type is the television show Grand Designs. Ostensibly the show is about people building their dream homes. But the real theme of the program is the underlying relationship dynamics that are revealed when serious amounts of money are on the line.

For me the show is an interesting study of people making bad choices and the underlying motivations behind such behavior. One of the most common themes that pops up is the stereotypical blue pill beta who cannot keep his wife under control. I recently watched an excellent example of this. The build in question was on the Isle of Wight. The couple’s back story was that the husband had recently suffered some sort of brain clot that had sent him into a coma. He had made a complete recovery but the couple had reevaluated their life priorities and had decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do something that they really wanted which was to build their dream house.

In other words, they were doing something that the wife really wanted. If I were to be callous about it then I would posit that the wife in question had decided to get as much expected value from her still living husband as possible before he really did drop off the perch. To that end they purchased a piece of foreshore land for a million pounds and then proceeded to build a house which was roughly budgeted at £850,000. I say roughly because they didn’t really have a budget even though the husband was an accountant by trade.

As the dreary looking modernist eyesore took shape so too did the pile of bills, and the episode eventually morphed into being about the looming financial disaster as the show so often is. Egged on by their delusional pseudo-architect who evidently fancied himself as some sort of modern playboy, the wife constantly ordered the best of everything, from window panes to tap fittings to who knows what, and all under the convenient excuse of this being what her husband wanted.

It wasn’t what he wanted at all. He wanted to be able to recover from his illness in relative peace. Instead his life became enveloped by the enormous stress brought on by running over their budget to the tune of £2.2 million, a feat which required 11 different loans of various forms and amounts. An amount which he would have to work to pay off, not his wife. And for the rest of his life.

(Keep in mind that under the terms of most of those loans they would have had to take out life insurance policies as well, so the wife is golden if he does drop dead of a heart attack).

A more striking example of what happens when you cannot keep your wife under control would be hard to find. It is also an outstanding example of female solipsism and the resulting flippant justification for such wanton excess. Yes she was completely out of control, but the main reason for that was her quiet panic at the thought of losing her provider at an age where she would seriously struggle to find a replacement. Keep in mind that by all accounts previous to this experience they lived a relatively modest lifestyle.

Of course, another reason for her behavior was the fact that she was exposed to millions of viewers on television. She had to have the best of everything because she had to be seen as being able to afford the best of everything, even though they really couldn’t afford it at all. This is known as living for the outside world.

At no point did he stand up to her and say that she couldn’t have something. The feat was simply beyond him. I think it quite likely that before this adventure they lived a life of relative peace; a life of quite normalcy. This is a comfortable error that many men make. It is the classic attitude of “nothing has ever happened so nothing ever will.” The husband assumed that he and his wife had a balanced and healthy relationship because they had never before encountered a situation where he would need to pull her into line.

As I said the other week, you cannot fall into the trap of thinking that you are somehow above the rules of the game. This episode of Grand Designs should be a stark warning to all men to get their house in order before they find themselves in a similar predicament. Your wife doesn’t have to cheat on you or leave you in order to test you. The testing comes in many forms. Just like houses.

This article was originally published at, where Adam Piggott publishes regularly and brilliantly. You can purchase Adam’s books here.